Founders David Zhao and Kevin West started the business a year ago after leaving Amazon.com and Microsoft. Zhao developed Ajax applications such as the Search Inside the Book reader at Amazon and West most recently worked on Vista at Microsoft.
Zhao said they came up with Versionate after being “frustrated with not having an easy-to-use tool to share documents & information at our day jobs.”
The short version of their story, from Zhao via email:
“After talking to friends, we realized that we aren’t the only ones with this problem. We both loved the concepts behind wikis, but feel wikis are too complex for business users and lacked critical features such as the ability to work with word docs.”
Versionate’s pitch is that it’s as easy to use as a word processor. You create and edit documents in a Web browser, then use the service to store them and control how they’re shared by listing who can contribute or just read the materials.
Zhao’s former employer is powering the service — it runs on Amazon’s S3 storage network.